Plant tours as a sales tool

Depending on what type of company you’re working for, shop tours are typically a common step in the sales cycle.  Prospective customers want to see what your machinery looks like, how clean it is, how much room you have, and just get a good feeling that you can actually fulfill their order.

A critical, but often overlooked, area of the tour is how your workforce projects themselves – in particular the technicians on the shop floor.

You should be continually coaching them on how important it is for them to smile at guests and say hi and to ask them if they have any questions.  I’ve found that the best way to get them on the same page is to ask them beforehand if they would mind talking about their area to the prospects.  You can then say something like “Joe, would you mind telling us a bit how this press works.”

In return the workers get a sense of pride and your prospects really see that you connect with the workforce and have the ability to track their orders through your manufacturing system.

Yes, I realize you may know more about the machine and could talk more eloquently – keep your trap shut.

Spread the fame around and always thank them with donuts (or oat bran muffins) the next morning.

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